WHL mourns the passing of former Hitmen executive Ken King


The Western Hockey League is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) President and Chief Executive Officer and current Vice Chair Ken King.

King, a native of Hanley, Sask., passed away at the age 68 Thursday.

Joining CSEC in 2001, King spent 17 seasons as the President and CEO of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. King served in the same role with the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, staying on as CEO until 2019. He oversaw the growth of the Hitmen on and off the ice in Calgary’s sports community throughout the past two decades.

“Ken played an integral leadership role as a Governor of the Calgary Hitmen for many years,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “He was highly respected for his business acumen and the significant contributions he made to both the Hitmen organization and the WHL as a whole.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ken’s family.”

During this time, the Hitmen won their second WHL Championship in 2010 while also providing hundreds of players with the opportunity to achieve their academic and professional hockey goals.

King joined the WHL Board of Governors in 2003 where he served through the 2017-18 WHL season. Throughout his tenure on the WHL Board of Governors, King’s experience and leadership provided a positive influence for WHL Clubs on many issues and challenges.

In addition to overseeing the on-ice success of the Hitmen, King became a key member in the community, serving on the TELUS Community Board; the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority; the Calgary Airport Authority; the Chairman of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce; and the Calgary Flames Foundation.

As President and Governor of the Calgary Hitmen, King played a central role in the Calgary Hitmen’s outdoor game in 2011 as part of the NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium. In particular, King served a vital role in the success of the Flames Foundation which has contributed over $32 million to community causes in Calgary and southern Alberta.

On February 5, 2019, King was named the recipient of the WHL Governors Award for the 2018-19 WHL season.

The WHL wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the entire King family as well as CSEC.

King is survived by his wife Marilyn, his daughters Amanda and Jocelin, and his grandchildren whom we know he loved dearly.

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